Actuarial Science

You can insure your car, home, health and even your life. When you buy an insurance policy, your individual risks are shared among a large pool of policyholders, and the task of an actuary is to understand and communicate these individual and collective risks. Actuarial Science provides the mathematical backbone for this job, and draws on a wide range of mathematical tools from probability, statistics, optimisation, finance and economics.

The last few decades have seen significant changes in Actuarial Science. Models of insurance risk are increasingly standardised by regulators. However, as advancing technology allows the collection of ever more refined individual information, and as we learn more about systemic risk in financial markets, new challenges for actuaries have opened up, and these have spurred the increasing adoption of advanced mathematical techniques.

In addition to our taught programmes offered at undergraduate and masters level, there is increasing research activity in Actuarial Science within the School. This is mainly driven by Ronnie Loeffen, Kees van Schaik, Neil Walton and Alex Watson. Jon Ferns FIA supplies the group with his experience and skills from a long career in the pensions and insurance industries. Some particular topics of interest are applications of queueing theory to ruin problems, Levy insurance risk processes, competition modelling, and optimal stopping and prediction problems in insurance.

The Actuarial Science group has worked for several years with individuals and companies in the pensions and insurance industry. Some of our recent collaboration partners include Mercer, Police Mutual, Willis Towers Watson and Royal London. If you would like to enquire about a possible project, please get in touch with Kees van Schaik or Jon Ferns.

Academic contacts

Dr Kees van Schaik, Tel: +44 (0)161 275 5853, E-mail: kees.vanschaik (

Jon Ferns FIA, Tel: +44 (0)161 275 5829, E-mail: jonathan.ferns (

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